How to Talk to Kids About Hurricanes

When my daughter came home talking about hurricane Irma, I realized that it was time to speak with her about hurricanes.

She’s always enjoyed making Youtube videos demonstrating various weather conditions. So it was no surprise that she wanted to have a discussion about tropical cyclones with her friends at school.

“What did you do at school?” I asked.
“We talked about the hurricane,” she replied.

She went on to recount the images of Harvey ripping through Houston Texas before explaining how they all pretended to be news reporters and meteorologists covering the hurricane.

Irma has been named the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic, and they’re fascinated by its impacts.

We went on to talk about how to prepare for a storm of this magnitude. If you plan on having a chat with your kiddos about hurricanes, here are few tips to keep in mind.

How to Talk to Kids About Hurricanes

How to Talk to Kids About Hurricanes (1)

Explain what hurricanes are and how they form

Hurricanes are large swirling storms that can produce fast winds. If your kids are into trains, you can put things into perspective by saying, “Irma is moving as fast as a high speed train.”

Warm waters, clouds, and strong winds help to form hurricanes and make them strong. It begins to lose power once it reaches land.

You can also use a map to show its location and where the hurricane will likely make landfall.

How can it affects people

When it comes to explaining things to my four and 7-year-old children, simple vocabulary works best. We talk about the destruction that hurricanes can leave behind. We also discuss how families could also be left without food, water, and electricity.

Explain how to prepare for a hurricane

Even these rainy windstorms can be destructive and sometimes life threatening, it’s important to explain to children how to prepare for a hurricane.

Take them shopping for last minute supplies, and allow them to pick out a few of their favorite items.

Speak with children about putting together an emergency kit. They can also make a list of must have items they want to bring in case of an evacuation. Allow them to be involved with preparing for pets as well.

Go over safety rules

Speak with them about how important it is to listen for instructions at all times. Tell them to stay away from windows, doors, wires, and other things that could put their safety at risk.

I’ve been covering hurricanes and other types of weather phenomena over 10 years. I’ve always maintained a straightforward approach when delivering the weather. You don’t have to use a lot of scientific jargon to explain what’s going on outside. It’s about providing viewers with a forecast that anyone at any age can understand.

The more children know about storms and safety procedures, the more confident and prepared they’ll be. The key is to keep explanations as simple as possible for them to fully understand. Also, remember to remain calm. Being calm will help to ease their fears.

What’s your approach regarding speaking with kids about hurricanes?